Sri Lankan players will abide by the board’s decision, former skipper says

Apr 15, Hyderabad: Sri Lankan cricketers playing in the Indian premier League (IPL) will abide by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board’s decision, former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who is captaining the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, said.

At a post-match press conference following his team’s first win in the IPL series, Sangakkara said his national team-mates playing in the IPL will have to abide by whatever their cricket board decides on their return home halfway into the Twenty20 league to tour England.

“We have a tour of England happening by the end of May. I think the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board will start calling us back. I am not sure if it is going to be May 5 or not,” Sangakkara said after his team beat Royal Challengers by 33 runs in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has asked the Sri Lankan cricketers playing for the IPL to return to the country by May 5 to prepare for the tour to England which starts from May 14.

“It is up to the BCCI and SLC to negotiate on this. I think the board will start calling (us back). We as players, all we can do is to wait and see what that decision is and whether BCCI and the SLC communicate that decision to us and take a final stance on that,” the skipper said.

“We just got to abide by that,” he said.

Sangakkara’s former deputy Mahela Jayawardena also expressed the same sentiments.

In a pre-match conference Thursday, Jayawardena who is leading the new IPL team, Kochi Tuskers said the players will follow SLC’s decision on when to return.

“It is not something in our control as cricketers. Whatever they (the board) come up with, we have to go ahead with it,” he said.

In addition to the two captains, 9 other Sri Lankan players are taking part in the lucrative IPL season.

Lasith Malinga has been a key player for the Mumbai Indians while Tillakaratne Dilshan is an explosive opener for Royal Challengers.

Angelo Mathews of Pune Warriors, Suraj Randiv, and Nuwan Kulasekara of Chennai Super Kings, Thisara Perera of Kochi Tuskers and Nuwan Pradeep of Royal Challengers are the other national team players in the IPL.

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